GDB 13.0: HOME ICE ADVANTAGE – Looking to bounce back

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Nightmare

The Oilers need to bounce back after Saturday’s disappointing loss to the Flames.

The Philadelphia Flyers have lost three straight, including a 4-1 setback in Vancouver last night and they enter Rexall Place with a 4-5-2 record. This is another team the Oilers need to beat. They will never improve if they can’t compete and regularly defeat average teams like Philadelphia.

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The Flyers are struggling to score. They’ve only scored once in each of their past three games, and they’ve only lit the lamp once in six of their eleven games played.

Claude Giroux has four goals and only six points. Jakub Voracek has no goals and only four points. Voracek’s new $8.25 million/year deal begins next season. The Flyers need him to start producing. The low goal total isn’t a major surprise, he’s more of a passer than shooter, but four assists is unacceptable. The Flyers need their two best players to start producing if they hope to win.

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The Oilers have been getting excellent production from their two best forwards. Taylor Hall has seven points in his last three games, and 13 on the season. Connor McDavid has 12 points in 12 games, and those two give the Oilers two dangerous lines.

Leon Draisaitl has fit in very well with RNH and Hall, while the Pouliot-McDavid-Yak trio has been excellent, except for Saturday’s loss vs. Calgary.

The Oilers need some production, albeit not much, from their bottom six forwards. Todd McLellan mentioned that again today, and he is hoping Purcell’s two-point effort on Saturday will jumpstart the veteran’s production.

LINEUP…

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Oilers lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

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Flyers lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

QUICK HITS…

  • It is the battle of the backups. Anders Nilsson will play his first game since getting pulled on October 23rd vs. Washington, while Michal Neuvirth will start his 5th game of the season. Neuvirth has a solid 1.91 GAA and .939sv% this season, while Nilson, after a strong first two games, has a .902sv% and 3.92 GAA.
  • Matt Hendricks is back in the lineup. He took a shot off the inside of his right ankle in Calgary on October 17th and hasn’t played since. He suffered a bad pressure cut and he still has some swelling on his foot. He admitted it is painful to skate, but he wants to play and the Oilers need his energetic personality on the bench and in practice. The Oilers are an extremely quiet group. Good teams have vocal leaders and energetic guys on the bench, but with Hendricks out the team lacked that ingredient.
  • The Oilers activated Hendricks and put Lauri Korpikoski on IR, retroactive to last Wednesday. He said yesterday he is ready to play, so he could be activated by the weekend.
  • Darnell Nurse is a vocal player and as he gets more comfortable he will speak up more. It is difficult for a rookie to come in and be one of the vocal players, but with such a quiet group, Nurse might have to become more vocal sooner than expected.
  • Defencemen like the plastic skate protectors, but many forwards, especially wingers, don’t. The puck explodes off the plastic, and when D-men ring it around the boards and the forward tries to knock it down with his feet, it is much harder to do it wearing those protectors. Hendricks will wear them tonight. He wore them during the lockout season, but said they felt clunky. “I have no choice, but to wear them now. They help when you are blocking shots, but it is a challenge if you are trying to control a pass off your skates,” he said after the morning skate.
  • Sean Couturier skated this morning. He has missed five games due to a concussion and it sounds like he will sit out tonight.
  • McLellan said Fayne is out because he didn’t want to insert two D-men who didn’t play last game at the same time. Reinhart draws back in tonight, and we might see Fayne on Friday if one of the D-men struggle.
  • Peter Chiarelli has been working the phones looking to make a trade. Don’t expect a major deal, but it sounds like, and this surprises no one, that he trying to tweak his blueline. Historically very few trades occur before November 15th, and an Eastern GM said via text this morning, “It is tough to negotiate a trade early in the season because you don’t want to overreact and trade away a player just because he had 10 bad games, and then see him flourish elsewhere.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Bill Meltzer

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The Oilers had a dramatic comeback win against the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, recovering from an early 3-0 deficit to skate off with a 4-3 regulation win keyed by a three-goal outburst in the third period. 

The emotional win was followed by a 5-4 regulation home loss to the Calgary Flames. Once again, the Oilers fell in early multi-goal hole and battled back to eventually tie the game. This time around, however, it was the opponent who came up with a late goal to seal the match. Michal Frolik finished off a hat trick with the game-deciding goal in the final 10 seconds of the third period on a seemingly harmless shot out of the corner.

Tuesday’s game is the third match of a four-game homestand for the Oilers. The team enters the game having lost four of its last five games overall. On home ice, Edmonton is 2-4-0 on the season to date.

TONIGHT…

GDB13

    GAME DAY PREDICTION: After being outscored 8-2 in their three previous first periods, the Oilers storm out of the gate and lead 2-0 after 20 minutes, and win the game 5-2.

    OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Sam Gagner picks up a point against his former team.

    NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: McLellan mentioned they need more secondary scoring and he gets a goal from the most unlikely of sources. Eric Gryba has four career goals. His first NHL goal came on home ice on March 23rd, 2013 in Ottawa, but his next three have come on the road. He didn’t score a goal last year, and the last time he tickled the twine was March 8th, 2014 in Winnipeg. He ends his  105-game goalless drought tonight.

    NOMINATE YOUR HOME ICE HERO!

    Celebrate the volunteer, parent, coach or organizer who keeps the game going and asks for nothing in return. 

    Nominate your Home Ice Hero and they could win a prize worth $5,000. Nominate your hero.


    • Puck JammeR!

      I’m sick of hearing about how great Hall is. He gets points but doesn’t do much of anything else. 2.5 seconds left in the period and he goes for a line change, name me one other NHL player that would do that?

      • YFC Prez

        I’m sick of hearing all the bitching about Hall that’s created out of little more than this air these days.

        The players is 8 th in league scoring right now. He’s playing incredibly well and you pick out a line change that didn’t affect anything?

        Bitching about a top ten point producer on your team is a total leafs fan move.

    • No.9

      See….thats karma…this stupid organization still keeps living the 90’s with the bs celebration…gretzky on…the idiot lowe…banner hanging for a ex gm…wtf.

    • oilersfan30

      Might I suggest bouncing a few in off of Neuvirths body from behind and to the far sides?Just for a micro-challenge,maybe try a one touch re-direct or a scoop-shot,he is good in close so maybe execute your one-timers and re-directs from a little futher out with a more acute angle ,just as quickly and urgently but from further out not complete periphery but further out from the sides…using of course quick release shot choices.Those big long legs make nice backstops for bankshots with a little english on them from in close,you dont need to full back-door to be open you sneak thru the key-hole.

      No “need” to change anything here but sometimes a micro-challenge is productive.

      • Reg Dunlop

        I forgot how entertaining your psychobabble can be. Please, never change.

        As for Hall being trade bait, if it improves a team that Hall lead to the last 5 lotto finishes, it has to be done. I doubt he has sufficient value to bite on his 6 mil contract for many teams near the cap or teams with an internal cap. We may have to include next year’s 1st rounder and take back an equally large contract. Bidding Hall adieu in a trade is not the same as saying he is a bust or saying he is over-rated. He is an asset that current mgmt. has no emotional ties to.

    • MacT's Neglected Helmet

      A little girl showed up on Halloween with a crystal ball, said she was a ‘good witch’. I asked her if she could see into the future and she said she sure could. I then asked her how many games the Oilers would win in a row, starting tonight, and she said nine. I believe her, hope the team does too. (She got extra candy out of us!)

    • No Fayne? Gadzic dresses?

      Mark Fayne is still one of the top 4 defenders here. And I’d rather have an NHL player in the lineup then Gadzic. Nice to see that TMac sees no value in the ability to roll 4 lines.

      However RCAF is not on display. Giroux must of spit in his cheerios when he got the news.

    • YFC Prez

      Purcell has gone from total goat to half decent to actually playing well on that 3rd line.

      He’s having a good game. I wish he made 2 million less, but still he’s working on that line.

      Yay!

    • Jordan88

      Officiating = Bettman = protecting Conner McDavid and the NHLs future.

      A high stick to the face, then a hold to the arm to spin him,then a pile-on to rub him out in the corner, and no call??????????????????????????Beeeeeeeeettman is to blame!!!!!

      Bettmans Refs are quickly showing the entire LEAGUE of monkeys how far they can take i with Conner McDavid…..obviously Gary Bettman values Conner as much as he valued Sidney huh ???

      Screw it PC….its time to start a WC Arms race.Bettman is to blame as his Refs are leaving us no choice….just make sure Bettmans name is attatched to this sub-par officiating.

      By the way nice of Hendricks to go see how Conner pain felt but NOT GO AFTER ANYONE….that IS AN “A” on his Jersey right???

      Nice win,but awfully expensive.

      Mac-L you shoulda kept the pro-active contact urgency and aggression rolling into the 2nd,yes you recovered it in the 3rd but….things might have turned out different had we not lost traction so badly during the 2nd.

    • A-Mc

      GDP: Oilers win 4-2 with the empty netter
      OGDP: McDavid and Hall both get a point tonight.
      NSOGDP: Even with a bruised marshmallow for a foot, Hendricks intercepts a pass with his skate and rushes down the ice for a Shorthanded goal. His leadership and sacrifice of the body is praised by Coach McLellan during the post-game presser.

    • YFC Prez

      Im glad to see that Gryba Reinhart pairing back again. Those guys together can make things tough around the net for the opposition.

      Purcell’s been better Lately ( Ya I know boo me) and with Hendricks back that line with letestu is hopefully in for a good night.

      So glad Hendricks is back. Watching this season the fight for the C is really a 2 horse race with him and Hall. That is until Darnell and McDavid enter the race.

      • Canoe Ride 27.1

        He might want to focus on his D skills. I’m just looking for him to put up the same -2 he did last night in Vancouver. The 97 Train will go by you pretty quick.

    • YFC Prez

      A shoulder injury for our shiny new toy. Who wouldve guessed.

      Well at least now we know what to do with LD now when Ebs returns. He plays 2C and Ebs reclaims 1RW.

    • Reg Dunlop

      I’ve lost interest in the outcome tonight. Seeing Conner crumple into the boards is like seeing one of my own kids injured. The rest ceased to matter.

    • stonedtodeath61

      “Darnell Nurse is a vocal player and as he gets more comfortable he will speak up more. It is difficult for a rookie to come in and be one of the vocal players, but with such a quiet group, Nurse might have to become more vocal sooner than expected.”

      I look at this and think it’s too bad Nurse wasn’t apart of the core around when Schultz came in. With all the talk of who the next Captain will be, and I think it’ll be Conner, duh, I truly believe Nurse would have been a better choice. Especially for the Oilers. Having the Captain be the number one D man who goes out and plays hard every night is, inmo, the best person to fill the captain role.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      On the PP enter the zone , make one move on one defender, then let it go. Why the wasted PP time, one to many passes,stop looking for perfect and start looking for penetration.

      Like that.

      We seem to be seeing a dominating game from the Oil .

      A lotta timely tactical supported stand-up “contact”, a lotta shots… a lotta PPs…a lotta excitement and finally a LEAD going into the 2nd period .

      Looks like the Hammer and Anvil is sinking in…Mac-L isnt LEAPING in but his feet are wet tonight….and it could be 4-0 for the Oilers by now.

      Nice start.Now Rinse and Repeat.

    • Oilfaninvan

      A couple of points: the Oil are having a crap 2nd period, lots of shots but not great chances, I’m sick of seeing Neuvirth windmill his glove after every save, and I don’t know why Talbot didn’t get the start in net. You give up two picks to get him and he’s a free agent at the end of the year, so you have to play him more to see if he’s got what it takes to be your #1 goalie.